There's less than three weeks to go till the start of the season now, which makes Friday's friendly against VFB Stuttgart - the first against top-flight opposition this summer - a fairly important test. It'll certainly be interesting to see how the team lines up for that one.
In the meantime, one or two quick mini-stories...
l Javier Matilla's long-rumoured season-long loan to Segunda side Murcia has been confirmed.
It's a deal that really suits everyone. It's easy to forget that Matilla was last summer's big-money signing (at about €1.3million from Villareal) because by the time Pepe Mel was ready to offer him playing time in the centre of midfield he seemed to have the football equivalent of "the yips", apparently unable to play a telling forward pass. Everyone seems to agree, though, that he's got talent to burn, so a season as a big fish in a small pond should help him re-find his mojo. He's still only 23.
l As promised, Simon Needham of the Blyth peña Bética (above right) did a great job of flying the verdiblanco flag at Spain's Olympic game against Honduras at St James' Park. He reports meeting Béticos from Japan, Spain and Newcastle and it's great to think of Betis being represented so prominently in the Gallowgate End.
l I know you'll like this story from a Venezuelan Bético, as told to Betisweb recently. Hearing that Málaga would be playing a friendly in Caracas, he donned a Betis shirt and hung around the team hotel hoping to meet everyone's favourite ex-Betis winger, Joaquín. When, eventually, the man himself appeared, he greeted our Venezuelan friend by saying cheerily, "A Bético!" and proving exactly as nice as you'd hope he would be. He asked the guy how he came to support the club, and hearing that it was to do with watching him playing at the 2002 World Cup and looking into who he played for, Joaquín finished the story off himself, "...and you fell in love!" When it came to having to their picture taken together, instead of "Cheese!" or "Whisky!", they apparently said, "Lopera!"
l Finally, it's worth keeping an eye on the Macron online shop, where the Betis kit is gradually being released. Mail order is available to most countries in the world (albeit at a cost).